DerbyCon 9.0, the upcoming edition of the popular InfoSec conference in September, will be its last. From an official announcement: When we first started DerbyCon, our goal was to create a conference where we could all come together to collaborate and share as a community, but most importantly as a profession. DerbyCon 1.0 was a huge gamble for us both personally and financially, but we believed in what we were doing, and it worked. For those that don't know the history of DerbyCon, it started off inside of a pizza shop as an idea between a few friends. Our goal was to create an affordable conference that shared a lot of what we had experienced in our early days in security. The ideas of collaboration, community, and the betterment of the industry and the safety of technology were at the forefront. At the end of DerbyCon 1.0, we realized that the conference was a huge success and our dream became a reality.
[...] What we have had to deal with on the back-end the past few years is more than just running a conference and sharing with friends. The conference scene in general changed drastically and small pocket groups focus on outrage and disruption where there is no right answer (regardless of how you respond, it's wrong), instead of coming together, or making the industry better. There is a small, yet vocal group of people creating negativity, polarization, and disruption, with the primary intent of self-promotion to advance a career, for personal gain, or for more social media followers. Individuals that would have us be judge, jury, and executioner for people they have had issues with outside of the conference that has nothing to do with the conference itself.
Instead of working hard in research, being a positive force in the industry, or sharing their own unique experiences (which makes us better as a whole), they tear others down in order to promote themselves. This isn't just about DerbyCon, it is present at other conferences as well and it's getting worse each year. We've spoken with a number of conference organizers, and each year it becomes substantially more difficult to host a conference where people can come together in large group settings. It's not just conferences either. This behavior is happening all over the place on social media, in our industry, targeting people trying to do good. As a community, we add fuel to fire, attack others, and give them a platform in one massive toxic environment. We do this all in fear of repercussions from upsetting others. Until this pattern changes, it will continue to get worse.
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